(Left to right.) Rosa Quintana, Alicia Villauriz and the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, in Luxembourg. (Photo: Xunta)
Ministers urge for more support for aquaculture
Friday, April 15, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Fisheries ministers from all 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) advocated increasing aid to boost aquaculture in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in Luxembourg, according to a plan proposed by the European Commission (EC).
Several EU countries that are landlocked - Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg and Slovakia - presented a project that claims more support to fisheries and aquaculture in fresh water.
The EU commissioner of Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, pledged at a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Thursday to do everything possible to "strengthen" the aquaculture sector, as there is growing demand for seafood.
Damanaki also mentioned that the EC intends to launch an "advisory committee on aquaculture, with the participation of countries, producers, retailers and environmentalists. She also promised greater "cooperation" to "push" aquaculture management plans, reports the EFE news agency.
She said that Brussels will propose additional aid to provide "adequate funding" for aquaculture.
The Secretary General of Marine Affairs of Spain, Alicia Villauriz, highlighted the relevance of the document discussed by the ministers, given the "importance of the potential" of marine and freshwater aquaculture.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Fisheries in Galicia, Rosa Quintana, was pleased by the proposed initiative and the response from Damanaki.
Much of the seafood consumed in the EU comes from third countries, so the EU authorities consider it important to encourage the development of aquaculture as a source of production and "wealth."
The main points of the project on inland fisheries and aquaculture are:
- Increase share for freshwater aquaculture in the European Fisheries Fund;
- Enhance support of applied research;
- Focusing on the needs of small businesses, simplify and harmonize administrative and financial measures;
- Find common solutions in the field of veterinary and disease control;
- Promote freshwater aquaculture products as an environmentally friendly alternative to endagered marine fishery resources.
By Analia Murias